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Not sure which (modern) Les Paul I have - serial numbers?


NySoFlaRob
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I have a Les Paul Traditional purchased new, a few years ago - and just this evening found myself looking at the headstock and noticed (for the first time) it says "Made in the USA Model 2016 "
So - I wondered ... because I could have sworn I bought the thing in probably 2014ish ... I know I have photos on my social media where I can see it in the background from at least mid 2015 - and couldve sworn I'd had it for a bit by then.  So I thought maybe the 2016 doesn't correspond to the year it was made but the model... like a car maybe? 

So I checked the serial number on a Gibson ID website and got ... 2 possibilities?  

160025043
Made in
   USA
  2016
 Model

Either:

Your guitar was made at the
Bozeman Plant, MT, USA
on August 22nd, 2012
Production Number: 43

Or:


Your guitar was made at the
Nashville Plant, TN, USA
in 2016
Production Number: 2504


According to this site - all electric models are made in Nashville, and acoustics are made in Bozeman ... 

So it should be the Nashville 2016 - but I have an image of it in my home in 2015 on my instagram ... And being a LP it wouldnt have been made in Bozeman, and if it were made in 2012 it wouldnt have been sitting brand new in the shop I bought it from in probably 2014 (maybe 2015?).

So - not sure what I have.  A model 2016 made in late 2014 or early 2015 maybe?  Is that feasible? 

Cheers!

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That would be a 2016 model... Very possibly made in 2015..

Gibson up until they had new management a year or so ago would release their new models in October. So the 2016s would have come out in late 2015  HOWEVER..  2015 was a particularly odd year for Gibson as they released all of the models with huge wide necks, auto tuners a sculpted neck heal and zero fret nuts..  At some point after the internet had fully exploded and the guitars had been fully hated on they then also released some more traditional models. It does make it all very confusing,   The new management dont do that any more.

So this is the question. Does your guitar have auto tuning and or a zero fret metal  nut?

Pictures would help a lot with this as it was a very very confusing year. 

Edited by Rabs
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Thanks for the reply.  Looking closer at my photos from social media it looks like the earliest photo I can find is from December of 2015... could be my memory is just off, and it was purchased around Oct-Nov of that year I guess.

Some images of the tuners, headstock, and nut ...

https://ibb.co/tMv3zJX

https://ibb.co/XW8jTnb

https://ibb.co/k1qqBwS

https://ibb.co/8ggVs2K

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Well its not a '2015' USA model. That's a regular one. So its likely a sprint run model made in 2015.

Gibson didnt publish any web page for 2016 models until after they shipped these regular models late 2015 to dealers. Those guitars would carry the '2016' year on the headstock. Your guitar is probably one of those.

It looked like 'normal service had been resumed' for Gibson at that time, until the High Performance ones happened along a little later.  

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1 hour ago, merciful-evans said:

Well its not a '2015' USA model. That's a regular one. So its likely a sprint run model made in 2015.

Gibson didnt publish any web page for 2016 models until after they shipped these regular models late 2015 to dealers. Those guitars would carry the '2016' year on the headstock. Your guitar is probably one of those.

It looked like 'normal service had been resumed' for Gibson at that time, until the High Performance ones happened along a little later.  

Yeah, what a bonkers year huh..   The forum and the whole internet almost exploded 🙂  Was it Donny who was so insulted by the 2015s that he ended up emailing Jim De Cola calling him all sorts of names and then got banned...  

But from what I remember you had the 2015s, the Sprint Runs and then the actual 2016s all within a year... Still must be one of the worst decisions they ever made apart from possibly the creation of the Firbird X  😄

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32 minutes ago, Rabs said:

Yeah, what a bonkers year huh..   The forum and the whole internet almost exploded 🙂  Was it Donny who was so insulted by the 2015s that he ended up emailing Jim De Cola calling him all sorts of names and then got banned...  

But from what I remember you had the 2015s, the Sprint Runs and then the actual 2016s all within a year... Still must be one of the worst decisions they ever made apart from possibly the creation of the Firbird X  😄

 

That was the year I joined here having just bought a ES-339 (Memphis built, so no 2015 changes applied). Yes deeply unpopular Nashville changes on here and I recall being utterly shocked at the intensity of the hated. One guy was even ranting about the how he 'couldn't get past' the removable pickguard. 

All the same, you may recall I eventually bought one of the loathed & detested Les Pauls (Less Plus) at the close of the year (you were complicit). I don't regret it. The wide neck is perfect for me. So is the adjustable nut. So is the removable pickguard (no holes in the wood). I even happily used the G Force for 3.5 years before changing to Grovers. In fact I think I'm going to play it this evening 🙂.

NySoFlaRob: apology for the meander away from topic.

 

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53 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

 

That was the year I joined here having just bought a ES-339 (Memphis built, so no 2015 changes applied). Yes deeply unpopular Nashville changes on here and I recall being utterly shocked at the intensity of the hated. One guy was even ranting about the how he 'couldn't get past' the removable pickguard. 

All the same, you may recall I eventually bought one of the loathed & detested Les Pauls (Less Plus) at the close of the year (you were complicit). I don't regret it. The wide neck is perfect for me. So is the adjustable nut. So is the removable pickguard (no holes in the wood). I even happily used the G Force for 3.5 years before changing to Grovers. In fact I think I'm going to play it this evening 🙂.

NySoFlaRob: apology for the meander away from topic.

 

Yes absolutely.. Loved those thin LPs and as I said at the time I think if you didnt mine the wide fretboard then they were actually some of the best looking Gibsons for a while in terms of build quality...  The only other mistake was the brass nut but they were changing those for titanium ones for free so sorted that in the end.

And actually I think all of this is quite relevant to the OP...  To understand exactly what guitar we are talking about here you have to kind of understand what happened that year first. I seem  to remember saying at the time all of this is going to be very confusing for owners in the future who want to know exactly when their guitar was made.

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15 minutes ago, NySoFlaRob said:

Just out of curiosity - what is the point of the metal nut?  In terms of sound etc ... ?

Also - in a thumbnail those models look like they have a sticker of Dr Evil on the back of the headstock.   

It does a few things... Its not just metal but it has a zero fret which in practical terms means that the nut slots dont need to be particularly accurate. Also it was adjustable where you could move it up and down (which is a good idea I think) and it meant you could change gauge of strings without worrying if they will fit and you could adjust the action really high if you wanted to use the guitar for slide etc..  It terms of sound some say its better as you are getting a metal contact when you strum without fretting and when you are fretting too rather than metal and whatever the nut is made from. Probably neither here nor there really.. Metal nuts arent a new thing at all but the adjustable side of it was cool.

Yes the little waving Les Paul hologram..  Just why...

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5 hours ago, Rabs said:

It does a few things... Its not just metal but it has a zero fret which in practical terms means that the nut slots dont need to be particularly accurate. Also it was adjustable where you could move it up and down (which is a good idea I think) and it meant you could change gauge of strings without worrying if they will fit and you could adjust the action really high if you wanted to use the guitar for slide etc..  It terms of sound some say its better as you are getting a metal contact when you strum without fretting and when you are fretting too rather than metal and whatever the nut is made from. Probably neither here nor there really.. Metal nuts arent a new thing at all but the adjustable side of it was cool.

Yes the little waving Les Paul hologram..  Just why...

 

I raise the nut higher than usual, so there is a smaller angle between strings  and fingerboard across the length. This gives a slightly lower action above the 10th fret which is where I prefer to be. I just prefer the tones up there. 

I read (cant recall source) that the Les hologram was a measure to frustrate the fakers. 

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1 hour ago, SteveFord said:

I believe that was Mr. Paul trying (and failing) to do the Live Long And Prosper Mr. Spock thing.

No wonder the 2015s bombed.

Not only all of that but from what I remember to cover the cost of the auto tuners the 2015s were also I think 28% more in cost too..  So not only did they make all those weird changes at once across the whole line you were also expected to pay much more for tuners that most people end up replacing anyway... 

I think it was the way they tried to force it on us giving people no choice that year who wanted to buy new but hated the changes that upset a lot of people.. Which is why they ended up with two lines the HP and the T lines which I get cos they invested a lot of money in the robot system. But also time has now proven that people just arent interested (mostly)...  Some people still rave about the auto tuners and love it. But they are in the minority for sure. The biggest issue  with that sort of tech on your guitar is it will always go wrong in the end and be out dated an not supported any more etc so end up being useless.

Edited by Rabs
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That was a strange year, all right.  I ran down to GC to check them out when they first hit the stores and the nicest thing I could think of to say was the finishes were very attractive.  The rest of it, well...

I think they even tried to bring some of that stuff over to their acoustic line up.  I'm sure they were aghast, ha, ha.

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TBH, the main reason I sprung for a 2015 guitar at the time (other than price cuts) was because it seemed like this was going to be the last opportunity to get one. I could imagine at some point in the future searching the web for 2015 models and maybe struggling to find them.

and if that time was now...

So I've just done a quick search I found two Less+ guitars for sale. One in Germany offered at £1,215 (£1,236 shipped) and another in Poland at £1,237 (£1,313 shipped). The cost new was £1,500. If those are going to sell at or close to those prices then they've held value pretty well. 

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